On Friday morning, I said goodbye to an old friend who married another old friend. They moved from London to a house a short walk from ours seven months ago. Rejoice. Now we’re leaving. Alas.
On Friday night, I said goodbye to my friend down the road. We met because we kept seeing each other pushing twin buggies : she has a five year old son and two year old twin girls. She is Canadian though her mother is English. I think her mother felt that it was fate that we should be friends so made a point of chatting to me every time she came to Brussels. Her mother was right.
On Sunday, we said goodbye to our ex-upstairs neighbour who now lives in a very large and beautiful art nouveau house around the corner from the old friends in which he kindly let our children play chasing. His own six month old was safely in Prague with her mother which makes the invitation to us all the more virtuous. Imagine bringing children into your life when your own are not there.
We were promptly back at our house at 11.30 to sell our car to a nice Indian family. There two girls (6 and 6 months) were exquisitely behaved and at least two of my children ran into the room naked (it’s hot, I let them play with running water in the sink, lethal combination) before I hustled them out (Princess’s interesting excuse: you said that you didn’t want me running around half naked in front of the people who were going to buy the car so I took off all my clothes).
Down to the end of the road, to play in the paddling pool in a school friend’s back garden. Screaming, excitement. Buns too.
Upstairs to tea in current neighbours’ flat. I feel mildly depressed every time I see their flat because it is so beautifully decorated and immaculately tidy but otherwise identical to ours. Despite their perfect flat they are immensely child friendly and our children adore them. How much do I love Italians, let me count the ways? She is an academic and off for the Summer; she took the Princess for two hours this morning while I negotiated with the bank and went to get back our documents from the Indian family. Turns out that they didn’t want our car after all (associated with too much nudity?). Mild bitterness. Would anybody like a peugeot 306sw, only 72,000 kms? Just asking.
Tomorrow, we leave for France, where we are staying in a nice chateau to break the journey (6 hours total journey time but we are puny). On Wednesday evening we will sleep on the ferry and on Thursday morning we will find ourselves in Ireland where I fully expect it to be raining.